DHS Home Page
Department of Human Services    Follow DHS on Facebook Follow DHS on Twitter Watch DHS Videos on Vimeo Connect with DHS on LinkedIn


Often, children, youth and adults who have a mental health diagnosis are treated differently by the people around them due to their illness. The threat of this stigma can be a powerful deterrent that keeps people from pursuing treatment or even discussing their illness and how it makes them feel.  Efforts to end stigma are part of the recovery-centered movement in the behavioral health system.

pdf.gif Hope and Change - Imagine the Possibilities
Created by the Allegheny County Coalition for Recovery to promote the belief that people can and do recover from mental illness and substance use addiction.

Promoting Children's Mental Health
DHS and its community partners developed the award-winning Explore Your Emotions coloring and activity book and the Explore Your Emotions tip sheet as the centerpiece of an ongoing and evolving campaign to encourage young children and their parents or another trusted adult to talk with each other about their feelings.  

pdf.gif Free "Explore Your Emotions" coloring and activity book for kids and parents
pdf.gif Free "Explore Your Emotions" tip sheet for parents and caregivers

The Explore Your Emotions campaign centers on the idea that social and emotional wellness are crucial in the development of children as they reach new milestones every day. The campaign promotes practical ways for children to share their feelings with trusted adults in support of their healthy development. To help children talk about their feelings, the coloring and activity book emphasizes feeling words such as “excited,” “happy,” “worried” and “sad.”

During the initial distribution in 2010, approximately 40,000 copies of the coloring book were distributed through corporate, nonprofit and governmental partners across Allegheny County. The list of interested partners keeps growing. The Explore Your Emotions coloring and activity book continues to be well-received by organizations, the community and families as a method of encouraging open dialogue with children about feelings.

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth and Their Families  

Family Acceptance Project
Offers ideas to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBTQ+ children.

What a Difference a Friend Makes
Provides forums, information and peer interaction for persons living with mental illness and their friends and families.